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Dingbatt
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  #686444 15-Sep-2012 14:31
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khull: Agree with JohnR and others on this. Nothing wrong with the current landscape of android phones. If you are unhappy with the update frequency consider switching to alternate operating systems I.e. iOS


Just to take issue with your statement that I have bolded above.  The very point that the OP raises is what I believe is wrong with the current Android landscape.  The fact that an Android version, as released by Google, is then taken and skinned by OEMs to provide their 'customer experience' which in turn is then taken by telcos and modified further to meet their requirerments (locking, bloatware, etc) means that any patching of the core firmware is still going to take time as each layer must approve the changes.  To me Android needs to be setup so that the points of difference of each layer become the responsibility of the organisation controlling that layer.  So Google are responsible for the base android code, the OEM is responsible for the skin/launcher and drivers, and the Telco for their 'added features'.  And by responsible I mean they provide the updates directly.  Even a separation of Google/OEM from the telcos, as is the case with unlocked/unbranded (parallel imported) phones would be a step forward.  Something like 'carrier packs'  which can be issued at a similar time to the higher level updates would be better than the interminable wait we are subjected to at the moment

As an aside, do Windows phones suffer from this?  Or do they get their firmware updates direct from Microsoft?




“We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. Carl Sagan 1996


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nzgeek
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  #686446 15-Sep-2012 14:39
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blair003: ... but I see it as much more subtle than your example

What you see and what a reasonable person will see are two different things. Remember, if you want the CGA to be enforced you need to take it before the courts (or at least the Disputes tribunal). Are they likely to see it the same way you do? Or are they likely to say that devices are not covered in the case of misuse, even if that misuse if by a third party and without your knowledge?

blair003: ...  open the lock with a similar looking key even if it was not coded for that lock.

That's not how exploits work. It's not a "similar looking key", as that's something that should be reasonably expected and should be protected against. It's about finding flaws in the way that the product is designed, things that are not obvious to 99.9% of people, and using those to gain access.

Again, exploits do not affect the normal operation of a product. They are a hidden flaw that can be abused by a malicious third party to gain access. The CGA is designed to ensure that goods are of an acceptable quality and fit for the purpose that they are designed for. It is not there to ensure that products are absolutely perfect and free from all flaws.

blair003
557 posts

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  #686455 15-Sep-2012 15:16
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nzgeek:
blair003: ... but I see it as much more subtle than your example

What you see and what a reasonable person will see are two different things. Remember, if you want the CGA to be enforced you need to take it before the courts (or at least the Disputes tribunal). Are they likely to see it the same way you do? Or are they likely to say that devices are not covered in the case of misuse, even if that misuse if by a third party and without your knowledge?.


I was merely saying that the potential claim being argued is not quite as black and white as your original example painted it. I still think you are right, and there is no CGA claim.



blair003
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  #686458 15-Sep-2012 15:22
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tdgeek:  In any case, Android will no doubt evolve to make this process more timely.



I'm going to assume you aren't trolling.

The issue here is not android the OS per se (other than the fact that android is open source so people can do with it what they want), it is a problem with android handset manufactures and the carriers that sell the handsets adding their own stuff.

These additional layers cause delays between when the OS is updated and when/if handsets are updated.

mattwnz
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  #686459 15-Sep-2012 15:22
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I think you would only have a case if the phone was actaully unusable. eg As soon as you connect to the network it gets hacked and becomes unusable, or it keeps getting hacked. Although the CGA says that products must be sold free of minor defects, I think software is different as all software has bugs of some type.

khull
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  #686462 15-Sep-2012 15:34
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In the context of the OP I would say (and someone who is qualified in commercial law can correct) the CGA only applies to the retailer, not on the phone manufacturer/operating system/firmware.

I am not dismissing the fact with regards to the vulnerabilities but CGA is unfortunately not the right act to quote for this situation.

tdgeek
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  #686463 15-Sep-2012 15:35
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blair003:
tdgeek:  In any case, Android will no doubt evolve to make this process more timely.



I'm going to assume you aren't trolling.

The issue here is not android the OS per se (other than the fact that android is open source so people can do with it what they want), it is a problem with android handset manufactures and the carriers that sell the handsets adding their own stuff.

These additional layers cause delays between when the OS is updated and when/if handsets are updated.


No Blair I am not trolling. Just because I like and use iOS doesn't mean everything I say that is not pro Android, is meant to agitate. I am just contributing.

But back to your post, yes I know all of that. What I meant was that this is an issue, and that I expect Google will work to make the OS-Manufacturer-Telco addons to the final Android product on the phone, easier to manage. As mentioned by Dingbatt, finding a way to seperate Manufacturer addons and Telco skins perhaps. Clearly far more complex, but no doubt being worked on.  



muppet
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  #686466 15-Sep-2012 15:51
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karit:
This got me thinking NZ has the Consumer Guarantees Act. Which does say something along the lines of if there is a fault in the product you have purchased the versatile either has to fix it (which they can only do by providing the latest Android update)


I think your logic's flawed. When there's a fault with Windows XP they don't fix it by giving you a copy of Windows 7.    At best, you'd be entitled to a security patch.

But let's assume they did give you Jelly Icecream Bean Sandwich.  Now your phone, which was designed for Gingerbread, can't handle the extra memory/CPU/GPU strain and the performance sucks.  Would you also expect that to be fixed under CGA?

As a final point: You're really not missing much.  I've upgraded my phone from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean.  It looks a bit nicer, has a few flashier things but at the end of the day - it makes little difference.

mattwnz
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  #686471 15-Sep-2012 16:01
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khull: In the context of the OP I would say (and someone who is qualified in commercial law can correct) the CGA only applies to the retailer, not on the phone manufacturer/operating system/firmware.

I am not dismissing the fact with regards to the vulnerabilities but CGA is unfortunately not the right act to quote for this situation.


I believe it applies to all levels, although if it is an overseas manufacturer, with no NZ presence, then I don't think it would apply to those manufacturers. But the main point of contact would be the retailer. This is why when you buy from a parallel importer you may not have the manufacturer standing behind the retailer to sort out problems.

NonprayingMantis
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  #686503 15-Sep-2012 18:10
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blair003:
khull: Agree with JohnR and others on this. Nothing wrong with the current landscape of android phones. If you are unhappy with the update frequency consider switching to alternate operating systems I.e. iOS


Really? Nothing wrong?

Phones are basically mini computers nowadays, yet we are restricted from loading our choice of software on them. PCs are going the same way and it will be harder to load custom operating systems onto them in future, but I disagree with that also.

I could understand if it was radio firmware or something that had the potential to disrupt the network of the carrier, but I don't think that is the reason. I personally don't think it's OK that I have to root my own phone so I can get it to do what I want it to do.

In my view this is one area where apple has a clear advantage over android.


wait, you want to be able to load your choice of OS on a phone and so you think apple has the advantage here?  SurprisedSurprised

nakedmolerat
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  #686505 15-Sep-2012 18:34
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NonprayingMantis:
blair003:
khull: Agree with JohnR and others on this. Nothing wrong with the current landscape of android phones. If you are unhappy with the update frequency consider switching to alternate operating systems I.e. iOS


Really? Nothing wrong?

Phones are basically mini computers nowadays, yet we are restricted from loading our choice of software on them. PCs are going the same way and it will be harder to load custom operating systems onto them in future, but I disagree with that also.

I could understand if it was radio firmware or something that had the potential to disrupt the network of the carrier, but I don't think that is the reason. I personally don't think it's OK that I have to root my own phone so I can get it to do what I want it to do.

In my view this is one area where apple has a clear advantage over android.


wait, you want to be able to load your choice of OS on a phone and so you think apple has the advantage here?  SurprisedSurprised


*chuckled*

this is why he is an iphone user Tongue Out


blair003
557 posts

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  #686506 15-Sep-2012 18:36
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Yup, fair enough I am talking about two different issues. I do think I should be able to load my OS of choice on hardware I purchase, but OS updates are one area where I think apple has a clear advantage.

With idevice updates to the supported OS come direct from apple, and you have to root the device to load custom software.

With android (in the main) updates are released by Google, then depending on the handset manufacturer and carrier, you may or may not get them... and you have to root the device to load custom software.

So basically you need to root your device either way which I'm not happy about, but if you have idevice and you only care to run apple's ios (the majority of users) you get timely updates, whereas if you have an android device and you only care to run the latest software (the majority of users), you are dependent on the manufacturer and potentially the carrier as well to get any updates.

I think Apple clearly has an advantage for the majority of users in this respect.
Sounds like I am talking myself into getting a vanilla android/Google nexus device next time around..

blair003
557 posts

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  #686514 15-Sep-2012 18:55
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nakedmolerat: 

*chuckled*

this is why he is an iphone user Tongue Out


Way to argue the two systems on merit.

I have never been an apple fan, but I did buy an iphone 3GS back when it was the best smartphone you could buy. That was because at the time it was the best smartphone you could buy.

But they have lagged behind ever since. My next phone was an HTC Desire, now I have a Samsung Galaxy S2. So I have used both systems, but now I am now firmly in the android camp. All things being equal if two choices existed that were similar, I would go with the non-apple one purely because its not apple (I have the same attitude towards sony due to their picking of proprietary technology over the years). If apple could make a clearly superior device again I don't even know if I would buy it now, such is my disdain for how they operate these days.

But if you think software updates are an area where android devices are superior to apple devices I think you're dreaming. It's not the fault of android, it is the handset manufacturers and carriers. It may be due to the nature of the best and the cost we have to pay for having choice, but for whatever reason it is far from satisfactory.

Like I said, I think I have talked myself into going with a vanilla android/google nexus device next time.

Beccara
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  #686518 15-Sep-2012 19:40
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Oh god this is a horrible idea. Do people not see the cause and effect of things like this? Enough people push retailers on this and prices will simply increase to counter it, They are a business and here to make money and if you start taking away their cash by demanding things like these they will raise their prices to cover the difference.

You buy the phone and nowhere does it say they promise to update it for you, When was the last time you got an update on a Nokia 5110?




Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

nzgeek
614 posts

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  #686522 15-Sep-2012 20:17
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blair003: ... but OS updates are one area where I think apple has a clear advantage.

To a certain extent, yes. Apple are good at releasing updates that apply to all of their devices, and don't have to wait for telco approval. However, each major version update seems to slow down the phone if you're  running the latest hardware. iOS 5 is meant to make the 3GS run fairly sluggishly, and while it runs better on the iP4 there are still some reported performance drops.

Windows Phone is somewhat similar, in that the telcos don't have the ability to customise the OS, and therefore the same update goes out to all devices at once. Microsoft still has to liaise with the manufacturers, but at least you get more consistent updates.

However, more frequent updates don't mean that the software is less susceptible to exploits. Sure, there are fixes to the bits that are publicly known, but there are generally a lot more exploits known than are released, This is how iOS gets jailbroken so quickly after each release. The jailbreak devs have a backlog of exploits they can use to unlock the device, and each time Apple squash one they just use another.

No mobile OS is perfect. They all have flaws. Windows Phone and iOS are good for updates, but their closed source nature makes it harder to proactively identify and fix flaws. Android is open, and you can install a custom build on most devices, but official OS updates take forever to come out (if they do at all). We've just gotta live with what we've got until someone gets things right.

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